Is it Time to Update Your SEO Strategy? Part 1

Looking to drive more visibility for your staffing or recruiting firm? Want to be seen as a leader in your industry or local market? Would you love more qualified inbound leads who are looking for the exact services you offer?

The good news: An effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can help you achieve all of these.

The bad news: There isn’t an “SEO Switch” you can turn on and immediately own search engine results!

What exactly is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of getting website traffic from the organic (free) listings on search engines like Google and Bing. By adjusting both on page SEO elements (content, site architecture, code, etc.) along with off-page SEO elements (trust/authority, inbound links, location, social, etc.), the goal of SEO is to build a stronger overall organic search presence that leads more people to your website.

How do you determine if your SEO strategy is effective?

Now that we have defined what SEO is, let’s look at several factors you should look at to determine if you’re existing strategy is good, or if it needs to be updated:

1. Keyword rankings. Unfortunately, we’ve all been trained to focus on keyword rankings. “Am I number one in Google results for [insert random search term]? Many SEO companies and business leaders will look at keyword ranking as their sole SEO success metric. The problem with that is it’s not a smart metric and distracts you from the main goal of SEO. Remember, SEO is the process of getting more high-quality traffic to your site from search engines. Ranking number one doesn’t mean traffic is coming to your site. You could rank high for a term that NO ONE searches for. Also, ranking high doesn’t mean that anyone is clicking on your listing. If keyword ranking is your main tracking metric – you may want to update your SEO strategy and realign your goals.

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2. Website traffic. Instead of using keyword ranking as your metric, look at the true metric: organic search engine website traffic. Use Google Analytics or another web visitor tracking software to identify how much traffic your site receives from organic search engine results. Look at historical data and compare traffic from search engines month over month and year over year. Look for growth trends to determine whether your SEO strategy is driving increased results or not. By comparing year-over-year traffic you’ll be able to remove the seasonal fluctuations in traffic and get a true indication of your website’s SEO performance. If you find that search traffic is flat or declining, it’s time to reevaluate your SEO strategy.

3. Search engine visitor behavior. We track over 500 staffing and recruiting websites and often find traffic from search engines is very high quality—meaning they stay on the site longer and are more likely to convert than other traffic sources. When looking at your traffic from search engines like Google and Bing, pay attention to key metrics:

Bounce Rate – A bounce is someone that visits your website and leaves after visiting only one page. If you find your traffic from search engines has a much higher bounce rate than the rest of your site that means the traffic isn’t high quality. Look closely at the search queries that drove that traffic and make sure they align with your business offerings. If your site content is optimized for terms that are outside of your offerings, there may not be any business value in that traffic.

Time on Site – Our goal with SEO is attracting high-quality traffic from people looking for your exact services. Look to see if visitors from search are spending more time on your site than the average visitor. If you find a low time on site, it’s time to review your strategy.

Pages per Visit – Similar to time on site, we want to see people from search engines visiting multiple pages on your site. If they aren’t, you are either attracting the wrong people, or your website isn’t leading them down the right path or funnel.





Brad Smith

Brad Smith
Brad Smith is director of SEO and social media marketing for Haley Marketing Group. He can be reached at bsmith (at) haleymarketing (dot) com.

Brad Smith

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One Response to “Is it Time to Update Your SEO Strategy? Part 1”

  1. Audrey T. says:

    Hi Brad! A really great article, getting ready to read the second part. It’s kind of strange people don’t invest more time in optimizing pages with a quality content, an instead just ignore this problem.

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